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BuddyP

New partner to keep Saturn afloat

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Not an April Fools in all likelihood. GM mentioned from the get-go that it would shutter or spin-off Saturn, and while I don't see any equity in the name alone (all that Saturn has, for all practical purposes), this may be a good thing. If some people want to take Saturn off GM's hands, then GM doesn't have to deal with those expenses. Since GM has so much factory capacity, maybe Sping Hill will be negotiated? One fewer factory for GM to worry about...

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Best case scenario on this would be for VW to take over the Saturn dealership network as a base for launching Seat/Skoda in the U.S. VW has claimed that they want to surpass Toyota as the world's number one automaker. Introducing Seat/Skoda to the U.S. would give VW the chance to do that. By taking over the existing Saturn dealership network, VW can establish Seat/Skoda as its own distinct and separate affordable network while preventing it from competing with or cheapening VW or Audi. This would give VW a 3-tier brand hierarchy in the U.S. that should help it capture more market share. Seat/Skoda would serve as an affordable Euro network, VW would serve as a German mainstream network, and Audi would serve as a German luxury network. Since Seat/Skoda products share platforms with VW products, it should be possible for VW to build the Seat/Skoda products in its existing or upcoming North American production facilities. This would help them avoid any unfavorable exchange rate effects on the price of imported vehicles.

Renault/Nissan could use the existing Saturn dealership base to relaunch Renault in the U.S. This would help them establish Renault as a separate Euro based brand in this market. Since Renault products share platforms with Nissan products, there is no reason the Renault products couldn't be built at Nissan's existing North American production facilities. I think this scenario is less likely than the first one (which may be highly unlikely too) since Renault/Nissan is struggling during this current economic crisis. Samsung and/or Dacia might be more lucrative ventures in the U.S. for Renault/Nissan at this time as both brands would allow them to set up a sub-Nissan affordable network in this market.

I would love to see Puegeot/Citroen PSA cut a deal with SDC to relaunch those brands in the U.S., but that would be a much more difficult deal to arrange since PSA doesn't have any existing North American production facilities. The exchange rate effect on Euro built/imported products from this company would probably price these vehicles out of the range people would accept or expect to pay for these non-premium products.

If Saturn is going to link up with a Chinese partner, then my preference would be Roewe/MG (although I would much prefer any of the options listed above over this). Any other Chinese, Indian, or Malaysian automakers would be totally unacceptable as far as I'm concerned.

Edited by cire
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SEAT/Skoda is a brilliant idea...I hope that's the plan. Those brands wouldn't have much problem fitting under the "Saturn" umbrella.

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Would a potential deal sell the Saturn name or just the dealer network? Or both perhaps.

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Would a potential deal sell the Saturn name or just the dealer network? Or both perhaps.

My understanding is that the dealers are independent, but that Saturn as a division is an independent holding company (wholly-owned subsidiary, not just a division) within GM.

Who knows, maybe Saturn can be spun off with Saab and Hummer as a unit.

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My understanding is that the dealers are independent, but that Saturn as a division is an independent holding company (wholly-owned subsidiary, not just a division) within GM.

Who knows, maybe Saturn can be spun off with Saab and Hummer as a unit.

Saturn is exactly as Electronic Data Systems was when GM owned EDS, it most likely will be spun off in the same fashion ...

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Just dump them already damn! lol

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I was skeptical about this article from day 1, not because of it being published on Apr 1 (not that that helps), but because it only showed up in one place. Legit stories tend to surface in at least a few media outlets. Also, when the info is coming from a dealer owner, that doesn't help my skepticism either. They could make that sort of thing up just to get some confidence-inspiring press and try to sell a couple more cars. I don't trust dealerships, their employees or owners, much at all.

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We had three Saturn-Saab dealers in town but now we have only one. One has become and Hyundai dealer and the other closed outright. Is this going on elsewhere in a big way? I'd think that some potential buyer for Saturn would be cognizant of how the dealer network would seem to be contracting bigtime.

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We had three Saturn-Saab dealers in town but now we have only one. One has become and Hyundai dealer and the other closed outright. Is this going on elsewhere in a big way? I'd think that some potential buyer for Saturn would be cognizant of how the dealer network would seem to be contracting bigtime.

How good is that Hyundai dealer doing?

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